Posted By : Threeland Travel / Cambodia Travel Guide
For many people, Cambodia tours start and finish with Angkor Wat. Considering its majestic beauty, this is understandable because it is one of the most important religious landmarks on the world. Speaking outside of the Angkor Wat background, however, Cambodia is a traveler 's dream to visit. It has so much to offer any traveler from every corner of the globe, with a vast geographical component, rich natural reserves, architectural marvels and a well-balanced amalgamation of the old and modern world.
We all accept that over half of the tourists who pour into this Southeast Asian Kingdom come with the aim of visiting the temples of Angkor.Yet under the whole craze about these ancient ruins, Cambodia is home to many fascinating and historic sites. In this article, we have proposed some of the best cities for you to visit on your next private Cambodia holiday package
1. Siem Reap
Known as the gateway to Angkor Wat and other ancient sacred sites around it, Siem Reap is a major tourism hub for Cambodia. It is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, which has plenty to offer guests, including hotels ranging from trendy and luxury hotels to budget accommodation.
A good start for enjoying Siem Reap might be near the town centre around the Siem reap night markets as well as along the road No.6. The Old French Quarter with its rows of preserved colonial buildings, is also an attractive part of town. Below, we show you some of the highlight areas of this popular Cambodian resort town:
- Old Market Area: This area is included Pub Street and the alley off Pub Street, is a very touristic area in the city centre. As its name suggests, the area covers the area around the Angkor Market. Many visitors to Siem Reap treat it as a base for exploring the city as well as Angkor Wat thanks to the convenience it offers – you can find plenty of shops, restaurants, bars and pubs around.
- Main Road to Angkor: The main road to Angkor is officially called Charles de Gaulle Boulevard. It’s the main route that connects the centre of Siem Reap with the Angkor Archaeological Park. It has several restaurants, shops and high-end accommodation including Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, Le Meridien Angkor, sofitel Angkor, Tara Angkor Hotel and Templation hotel siem reap. A must-visit venue along the road is the Angkor National Museum, where more than 1,300 artefacts from the Angkorian era are displayed along with multimedia presentations from the Angkorian period.
- Wat Bo Road Area: Located on the east side of the Siem Reap River, Wat Bo Road was once popular with budget travelers for accommodations and foods. Things have changed, though, as Wat Bo Road nowadays plays Guest House to boutique hotels, upmarket restaurants, garden-style restaurants, BBQ buffet and hip bars.
Foodies and locals who take their dining seriously come to this area for the city’s newest restaurant ventures. The main attraction of the lovely and quiet area is Wat Bo, one of the province’s oldest buddhis pagoda temples (other than Angkor Wat). Wat Bo Road is only about a 10-minute walk to the famous Old Market Area.
- National Road No 6 Area: The National Highway 6 is the main road connected from Siem Reap town to Siem Reap international airport that cuts across the northern section of town. It passes one of the local markets called Psar Leu in the east of town and the Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor in the centre and then heads to the airport.
- Angkor Archaeological Park: The ruins of Angkor Wat are inside Angkor Archaeological Park. It is truly a monumental and awe-inspiring sight with its 5 lotus-like towers rising 65 meters into the sky. The structure as a whole is best viewed in soft light and the best lighting conditions are after 2pm. Still, many prefer to come early before sunrise to admire the amazing colors as the sun rises over the horizon.
2. Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is Cambodia's largest and wealthiest city. It is also the country's cultural, economic , and political hub. Phnom Penh covers an area of 376 sq km and is located in Cambodia's south-central region, at the confluence of the Tonle Sap, Mekong and Bassac rivers.
With French colonial mansions and tree-lined boulevards amid monumental Angkorian architecture it exudes a sort of provincial charm and tranquility. Phnom Penh is a true oasis compared to other Asian capitals in terms of modernity.
- Royal Palace:The palace once overshadowed the Phnom Penh skyline. It's a stunning riverfront building, bearing a fascinating similarity to its Bangkok counterpart. Just the Throne Hall and a handful of buildings surrounding it are permitted for visitors to visit. Both guests will wear shorts that reach the ankles, and a T-shirt or blouse that reaches the elbows; else at the ticket booth you'll have to purchase a fitting sarong as a cover.
- Silver Pagoda: It sits in the southern portion of the Royal Palace complex. The pagoda was formerly known as the Wat Uborsoth Rotannaram because it was here that the King worshiped, prayed and observed every Silas Day in Buddhism. Furthermore, there were also Buddhist rituals performed by the royal family and officials but there are no monks in the pagoda.
- National Museum: Cambodia's National Museum holds the best collection of Khmer art in the world: a century worth and more of Khmer masterful architecture. It is located in a majestic, historically crafted terracotta building (built from 1917 to 1920) with an welcoming garden in the courtyard, just north of the Royal Palace.
- Toul Sleng Genocide Museum:In 1975 Pol Pot's armed forces took over Tuol Svay Prey High School and converted it into a jail known as Security Prison 21 (S-21); it quickly became the country's main detention and interrogation facility. S-21 became the Tuol Sleng Museum, which acts as a memorial to the Khmer Rouge's atrocities.
A tour of Tuol Sleng is a highly disturbing experience. The sheer ordinariness of the environment renders things much more horrifying: the suburban atmosphere, the bland school buildings and the grassy play field where kids knock around balls, juxtaposed with rusted chairs, torture devices and wall after wall of unsettling photographs.
- Choeng Ek Killing Fields: It is located 15 kilometers south-west of Phnom Penh and made famous by "Killing Field" video. More than 17,000 people were killed and buried in mass graves; many of them were brought here in Toul Sleng after being arrested and tortured.
The place is a grim reminder of the Khmer Rouge regime's brutalities. There is a 17-story glass stupa in the center of the city which houses 8000 skulls exhumed from mass graves.
Note: Exhibits from both the Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields can be unsettling to others and not appropriate for easily startled younger kids and adults.
- Wat Phnom: Atop a 27m-high tree-covered knoll, Wat Phnom is on the town's only 'hill.' Many people here today come to pray for good health and progress in school exams or business matters. If a wish is made, the faithful return to deliver on the promised deal, such as a garland of jasmine flowers or a bunch of bananas (whose spirits are said to be very fond of).
There are many popular tourist places here, in the capital. Besides there are many marketplaces that sell carvings, paintings, silk, jewels, and even antiques. In fact, it's an ideal destination for a day-trip. Phnom Penh provides accommodation options from basic guesthouses to five-star hotels. Phnom Penh also has a varied dining scene and a vibrant and diverse nightlife.
'Beach town,' 'port city,' 'fledgling destination resort' - all define Sihanoukville, the leading beach town in Cambodia.
Sihanoukville is mainly a tourist destination with its beaches and casinos, albeit one with an modern deep-water harbour. The town has more lighthearted flavors to it than Phnom Penh because of the tourism industry. Located on the eastern part of Thailand's Gulf, Sihanoukville is a peninsula with numerous beaches and offshore islands.
Sihanoukville is a place to relax by the beach, enjoy the fresh seafood from the ocean, take a snorkeling or scuba ride, and typically slow down, lie back and chill-out. Despite the limited number of tourists Sihanoukville has, the city has more than enough hotels, restaurants and bars. Sihanoukville offers a quiet counterpoint to the often crowded beaches of Thailand with its 5 beaches and 5 islands to relax in.
The World Heritage Angkor Tour - https://threeland.com/tour/the-world-heritage-angkor.html
Cambodia Temples & Beach - https://threeland.com/tour/temple-and-beach.html
Phnom Penh - Siem Reap Combination - https://threeland.com/tour/phnom-penh-siemreap-combination.html